powered by AFI
The working titles of this film were Panther Squadron 8 and Panther Squadron. The film's credits are preceded by a partial image of the issue of The Saturday Evening Post with James A. Michener's short story "The Forgotten Heroes of Korea." This image is followed by an onscreen dedication to "the remarkable men who run the machines of war" and an acknowledgment of the two articles on which the film was based. The following written statement accompanies the end credits: "Made with the cooperation of the Department of the Defense and the United States Navy, with particular appreciation to Commander Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and the officers and men of his command."
According to an August 1953 Variety item, M-G-M's production head Edward J. Mannix and Paramount's production head Don Hartman worked out an agreement whereby the plots of Men of the Fighting Lady and The Bridges at Toko-Ri (see entry above), both based on similar James A. Michener stories, would not "look alike on the screen." Although shot in early 1954, The Bridges at Toko-Ri was not released until February 1955. As noted in a September 1953 Army Archerd Hollywood Reporter column, Paramount agreed to delay their film's opening so as to not compete with M-G-M's release.
According to August and October 1953 Hollywood Reporter news items, portions of Men of the Fighting Lady were shot on location aboard the Navy carriers Oriskany, anchored off the coast of San Francisco, and U.S.S. Princeton in San Diego, CA. A November 1, 1953 article in New York Times reports that the character "Paul Grayson" was based on Navy Commander Paul N. Gray, who was renowned for his daring low-level raids in Korea. Gray served as technical advisor on the film. The New York Times article adds that much of the film's aerial photography was "actual 16-millimeter camera-gun footage from the Navy's Korea file."